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Making the most of the situation

It was a long celebration at Carlos Davis' home on Saturday, April 25 when he and his twin brother, Khalil Davis, were both selected in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Davis was selected by the Steelers in the seventh round, while his brother was chosen by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the sixth round.

And it meant plenty of yelling and screaming when both players got that magical phone call.

"It was really exciting when I got selected," said Davis, a defensive tackle from Nebraska. "I didn't get to fully enjoy the moment. I was still on the phone with the coaches, my family was jumping on me and celebrating. I was trying to finish the call and then celebrate. It was very surreal, and it didn't hit me until days later. It was a great experience.

"It's very overwhelming. You have to keep yourself from getting too excited. It's something you worked for your whole life. You have to live in the moment but be thankful you are there."

Davis never could have imaged he would be part of a 'virtual' draft class. It was one thing when he, along with Khalil, did a pre-draft zoom meeting with the Steelers. But to have the full draft go virtual was something he wasn't sure about, but pleasantly surprised with how it all played out.

"I thought it was really neat the way everyone responded to the whole coronavirus situation," said Davis. "Just for them to have the draft and do it virtually was amazing to me. I didn't want to miss out on that part the year I came out. I was thankful they had the virtual draft. It turned out really well."

Without the ability to work out with his teammates at this point, Davis is definitely taking advantage of having his brother right alongside him as a workout partner as he prepares for when things are opened up again in the NFL.

"Everybody wants to get back to sports. When it gets back it's going to be wonderful," said Davis. "Until then we have to keep working. I have been working out with my brother. We get up at 7 am every day and work out. I am also studying every few hours, looking over things the team has sent us, looking over stuff that we went over with coach.

"We are doing a lot of cardio, a lot of running. Some football drills as well. We are doing well. We don't have a weight bench, so we are doing a lot of band work. A little of everything.

"It's a blessing to have Khalil there with me. He will run my workout and keep my time and then we will switch, and I will do his. It's nice to have someone there to keep you accountable and help get the work done."

Being accountable is a key factor right now because when players are able to report to teams for workouts everything is going to move at a different speed. And that doesn't seem to be a problem for Davis. He earned his undergraduate degree from Nebraska in the Summer of 2019 in Child, Youth and Family Studies and has been taking graduate classes since then. He is a sponge when it comes to learning, something that will benefit him when he takes part in the virtual classroom with his fellow defensive linemen.

"This time right now is the best time for you to learn and be in the playbook," said Davis. "That is what I am doing. Going over plays, making sure it's sinking into my brain. It is overwhelming to do it on your own, but I can really dive in and dissect it on my own and learn it and really look at it."

He knows he is going to have to rely heavily on the veterans in the defensive line room like Cameron Heyward to really understand what is expected.

"It's going to be huge to learn from him," said Davis. "He has done everything I am doing now so he is going to have some great advice. He is a seasoned player and knows more than I do. I have to soak up everything I can from him."

In addition to his smarts, Davis has been hailed as a 'strong' player by Coach Mike Tomlin. He said he is definitely a weight room guy but can balance that strength with speed too.

"I am quick, I am getting better at pass rush," said Davis. "My speed and my weight, I am good at using it and using it on the football field. I just have to keep working on my rush and executing. Really just studying my opponents and what they do so I can have an advantage over them when we are ready to go."